Watch Brian Cox Shut Down A One Nation Senator On Climate Change

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Physicist Professor Brian Cox (seen above receiving an Order of the British Empire award for services to science) was asked to provide proof that human activity is contributing to climate change on last night's Q&A. One Nation senator-elect, climate change denier and ex-coal miner Malcolm Roberts was also on the panel.

Hilarity ensued, and you can watch it here:

Professor Cox explained in the video above that climate change is "a clear global problem", calling scientific opinion of human action leading to an increase in average temperatures an "absolute, absolute consensus" that can't be argued with.

Roberts replied he was "absolutely stunned" that someone who inspired by Richard Feynman, "a fantastic scientist who believes in empirical evidence, is quoting consensus." Roberts also played his trump card, calling out "the pause in this so-called warming for now 21 years."

Enter Professor Cox with The Graphâ„¢.

"I brought the graph," Cox said. "Let me tell you where the pause is. The pause that's often quoted, if you take this point here, which is about 1997, I think, and you ignore 2015-2016. You can choose that point and you can draw a slightly straighter trend line on there. But that's a misunderstanding."

But Roberts stayed firm, claiming "the data has been corrupted....manipulated"

Cox needed to know who would do such a thing, and Roberts had the answer.

It's NASA.

"Steve Goddard has shown the NASA figures and the graph was originally showing the 1930s were warmer than recent decades and that is correct," Roberts explained. "In the recent years they've been reversed so that the 1930s were reduced in temperature and the later periods were inflated in temperature".

He also goes to to explain that Greg Hunt "squashed an investigation of the Bureau of Metrology" earlier this year.

Professor Cox pointed out that the results are consistent across not only NASA but the Australian Academy of Science and Met Office in the UK -- which Roberts took as an accusation of his own statement.

"Are you accusing me of saying they're collaborating?" he asked of Cox, who responded incredulously: "What, they've all manipulated it in the same way and accidently got to the same answer? Is that what you're saying?"

Modelling what the Earth will look like in decades -- centuries time -- is of vital importance for future planning, Cox points out. "If you don't model it. How can you go about trying to answer the question?"

Roberts says the answer is to make projections based on models, "providing the models are validated and proven to be accurate". Roberts says "the models have already been proven to be inaccurate and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has recognised that and admitted it."

Roberts then goes back to his point about empirical data, which he states "says quite categorically that the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are a result of temperature changes, not caused."

Cox is having none of that. "That's flat out wrong. That's a deception. It is flat out incorrect," he says. "I took a snapshot of the different bits of evidence for 2015. Global upper ocean heat content highest on record in 2015. Global sea level, highest on record in 2015, 70mm higher than that observed in 1993. Global surface temperature highest on record, El Nino something like a 10-40 per cent contribution to that. Tropical cyclones well above average overall".

"The key point is if you don't accept that the only way to try to formulate policy on what we do with emissions is to build models, that's the only way you can predict the future otherwise you have tarot cards and tea leaves."

For all of this, from the bottom of my heart, I say thank you, Q&A. Thank you.


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